March 27, 2013

What is your life intention?


I recently had the pleasure of listening to Dr. John Piper speak at my church here in Raleigh. He spoke on his personal mission ("I exist to spread a passion for the supremecy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ") as well as the mission of the Summit church, which is to plant 1,000 churches in 40 years.

I left that day thinking about my mission. My ultimate goal, the meaning of my life. And thus far, a vague, typical church-y speak "share the gospel" hasn't been cutting it for me. I am more successful with a clear vision or intention. I set a mission statement for my blog and having a decided statement to frame what decisions I make has made it easier for me to 1. make them and 2. make wise ones. Since I've see the importance of an intention for my blog, I brought that idea into my own life. 

Christian or not, I think it's valuable to have a focus in our lives. A goal. A purpose. And I really do believe that fulfilling that purpose, whatever it may be, is rewarding to our souls.

I want to begin mine like Piper's, with the phrase "I exist". Because otherwise, words like "should" or "will focus on" take away from it being the ultimate goal. "I exist to. . ."leaves no room for misunderstanding or excuses.

So I looked to my bible, which is the primary resource of guidance, focus, and intention for my life. I've been studying 2 Timothy with an amazing group of women, and I have learned so much. From an assortment of verses in that book, I've developed an intention for this time in my life. This may change as I enter new seasons, but for now, this is something that sets me in, what I think, is the right direction.

I exist to make evident the work of God in my life, and to tell others about His unchanging love.  


So through this time of infertility, as well as this time of enjoyment in my career. Through living near my sister, and having the freedom to travel. In struggling with boundaries and time management, and joy in meeting so many wonderful new friends-- I exist not only to experience those things for myself, but to show the work of God in my life, and to tell others about His unchanging love.


Have you thought about a mission, or intention for your life?

84 comments:

  1. One of my favorite posts, to date. I need to do this step for my life as well, and I love they way you suggested to begin: I exist ...

    Thank you!

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    1. ah thank you. And hey--that was Piper's idea :)

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    2. Okay. Haha thankful that you remembered Piper's idea and suggested it ;)

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  2. This has been on my mind a lot lately! Through all the confusing pulls this way and that of Christian's expectations, (being a missionary, being a godly mother, etc), I breathe the prayer over and over, "let me bring glory to you." And it brings me peace.

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    1. i love the breath prayers--I have a few "go-to's" throughout the day as well

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  3. Wonderful! Your transparency is so inspiring. God has used this blog as an outlet for you to touch the lives of so many people. I know I've been truly blessed to know you and your story.
    Happy Easter!

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    1. thanks for the encouragement Samantha!

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  4. Hello and good morning.

    I'm a new-ish reader of your blog, and I found you originally through Pinterest. I wanted to say thank you for this post. I am also trying to craft a vision and mission for my life that leads me forward and aids me as I find ways to be of service in this world.

    Thank you for providing the catalyst thought of "I exist to...," it's a simple choice of words with such enormous power.

    Thank you,
    Shawn Chapman

    PS: I also enjoy that you live in and blog about Raleigh. I lived in Apex/Cary for a few years. There are days, especially in the spring and fall, that I miss it very much.

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    1. ah, small world! Thanks for reading :)

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  5. This is just what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you for your honesty and inspiring posts! Always love reading them :)

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  6. A lovely reminder. My life gets pulled in so many different directions I find my intentions drifting away from what they should be - time to reassess over Easter. Thank you.

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  7. This is an amazing message! Like other readers, I am also at that point where I am this is always on my mind, and the way you put it into words is great. The Lord is amazing, and what he can do is incredible! I think you are so inspirational and I love you blog. I know God will continue to bless you and your family.

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  8. You are truly an inspiration, thank you for voicing it so well.

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  9. Being an inspiration to people is a great mission. In every religion inspiring other for the good and love is appreciated. Many leaves your blog with a smile on their faces I believe so you are very successful on your mission. Keep going :-)

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  10. Great post that left me thinking! I understand where you're coming from with the infertility thing. I was just recently slapped with the "infertile" label, and at 30 it felt pretty rough! But, I am confident in my God. When people ask how "it's" going... I always quote Jeremiah 29:11 and tell them that I know God has a plan for me. <3

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  11. Kate,

    Thank you so very much for sharing this post!! You are so right about having a mission statement or a goal. It's so easy to get lost in our own dreams or the craziness of our lives... when we ultimately are here on this earth for one reason - to be a light shining in the darkness for others!!

    This was such a wonderful post, Kate!!
    ~Kat
    blog: www.aandfphotos.blogspot.com

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  12. This was a really inspiring post, Kate. Growing up, I felt I had a clear vision and calling on my life.. and into my first years of college, I followed that calling.. but by sophomore year in college, that calling seemed to have reached an abrupt dead end... and ever since then I've been struggling to find my purpose, intent, and mission in life. I've almost kind of ignored it for fear of facing what feels like failure in what I had been so sure was my calling and for fear of not knowing what it is I am really called to. But your post just really inspired me to face that fear, dig into the Lord and figure it out for myself...it's crucial to my spiritual well being as well as the future of my family. Thank you for being such a positive influence on the world today.

    Leah

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  13. That's a beautiful mission. God definitely knows what He's doing--I really needed this post.

    I've been struggling to find direction lately, and I've really been thinking about my purpose. Looks like today I'll be spending a little more quality time with my Bible. :) Thank you so much for sharing with us!

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  14. Kate,

    I love that you have created a blog (and not just any blog....an extremely popular blog!) where we can benefit from your beauty and fashion tips and tutorials, but where you aren't afraid to show your love for Christ. Some blogs are entirely too superficial and send the wrong message, but I always know I can count on you to give great tips, but doing it all to glorify Him in the end. Thank you for our awesome message this morning, and I know God will continue to bless you immensely!

    Rachael V

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  15. Kate, wow, you continue to bring so much to this blog and to your 'fans'. This is a wonderful way to start a personal mission statement. We just went through a similar series at our church here in Tampa (Grace Family Church--fantastic place by the way!), and I asked myself, "Kelly, what is your passion, what is your purpose?" and I don't know that I have a clear answer, but I have been praying about it and I will also incorporate your suggestion and 2 Timothy sounds like a great place to start as well as "I exist...". THANKS FOR ALL YOU BRING!

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  16. I heard Piper at Brier creek that week too! I love this post. It's very inspiring and I think you touch so many women's lives through this blog! I love reading it and get so much from your writing and I know others do too.

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  17. Thank you for your motivating post! Very well said! I am encouraged by your boldness and glad you've taken a Christian stand on your blog. I have emailed you twice with an opportunity for ministry using your blog with the young ladies from my church and I totally understand your email must be bursting at the seams~ but I am eagerly waiting your reply! Thank you and God Bless!

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  18. I love this post! I read John Piper's book "Don't Waste Your Life" and it was a powerful book for me. It is so easy to get swept up in the day to day events of life and not give any thought about living intentionally. Thank you for sharing who you are with us, from fabulous up-dos and lipstick colors to sharing your heart and your faith in such a beautiful way.

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  19. This is a wonderful idea. I think having a mission statement to base your decisions/actions off of would be immensely helpful for us all. Thank you for sharing this!

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  20. Your such a wise and loving soul!

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  21. I absolutely LOVE that you use your influence to spread the word of God. Women all over the place look to you for style, hair, and makeup inspiration, and using that platform to glorify God is just amazing! I've been a loyal daily reader of your blog for over a year, and it never fails to inspire me to become better! Thank you for such a wonderful post!

    Ashley

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  22. Thank you for this post!! As beleivers, life is so much more than "us" as we have a purpose and I will pray as you seek to make His work more evident via whatever comes your way. Even in trials He has a purpose, that is so comforting! Blessings to you.

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  23. I totally agree! One of my goals in life is to help someone come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I'm not going to count my children I will have someday into that, because obviously I will help them. I want to help someone that ins't in my immediate family. I totally believe that as Christians we are supposed to save those that are lost, just as the bible tells us. I love your I exist statement. It's powerful!!!

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  24. Thanks for sharing, Kate!!!! Such an encouragment!

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  25. Thank you for the post Kate. Happy Easter! Below are a few links to a youtube channel. The short little videos there are always so inspiring to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naqX9iYE0V0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz41YxNiHEg

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  26. Is there a "like" button? I don't have much to say except for "like". I am so humbled and encouraged to "know" you through your words. Thank you for your constant encouragement and transparency to everyone who reads your special words. Thanks!

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  27. Oh Kate, thank you for posting this today. It was much needed for me. A personal mission statement that contains 'I exist' in combination with praising God gives purpose to everyone, great or small. Gotta say, I'm a big fan of these personal and philosophical posts of yours :)

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  28. I think about this a lot.. However I try not to dwell on it and just pray that I will follow God's will. Because ultimately that is what is best for me! Awesome post Kate! : )

    Kayla
    www.lovelucygirl.com

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  29. Love this! And jealous that you got to hear John Piper at your church! ;)

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  30. What a great and inspiring post! I too have been struggling with "infertility", but I now choose to call it "God's Timing". When I call it that, it's not a struggle as you don't want to say "I'm struggling with God's timing". Things will happen in His time, when He thinks we are ready. I'm currently on my 3rd month of clomid and it is working, but hasn't "worked" yet, so I will just keep on waiting and hoping for the best (and for God's timing to hurry up haha :). I strive to share God with others, but things in my past have put up road blocks that I am constantly tearing down.

    Good luck... I'm praying for you!

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  31. I love this concept. I have been wanting to create a mission statement for our family for some time and would now like to expand it to my individual self as well. With so many facets of life pulling us in a thousand different directions, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that everything we do should come together. Between several transitions at home and work in the last few years, I am guilty of getting caught up in life without really living with purpose. Thank you for a beautiful, thought-provoking post.

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  32. I read a great article a couple years ago on this very topic, and it is something that I have been pondering for myself since that time.

    http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=2073

    I think we are all blessed with opportunities and talents to uniquely make an impact for good, and you are already doing that in part with your blog. Thank you!

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  33. You are amazing!!
    Awesome message and you just made my day better to be able to share in the love of our Lord! :)

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  34. This just really started my day off right. I love seeing people use the internet for good. It shows that the proper use of technology can do some good in the world. I love your blog! Any great devotionals you know of for women or newlyweds? Just curious. Be blessed!

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  35. Kate--Thank you so much for posting this! I agree with the comments above that through this blog you've been able to touch the lives of many. This is just what I needed to read today and I plan to use it as inspiration to craft a mission/vision for my life. Thanks for always being real and transparent with your readers! You're such an inspiration!

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  36. Kate! Thank you for your honesty in all of your posts. I love it! I recently read a Beth Moore post (yesterday I think, actually) that ministered to me along these same lines. I think mine is simple: I exist to love the Lord my God with all of my heart! In learning how to do this more and more, He will unfold my unique purpose and passions, and equip me to do them. We have a lot in common with our current life situations... Praying for you today as I pray for myself! Love, Rachel

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  37. I am a new follower, but I Love this post! I have really been struggling the last month with who I really am after my grandma passed away at the beginning of March. Our family struggles with addictions and mental illness and I am always wondering where I fit into this mess. I feel like I am somewhat normal, no addictions (only coffee) and as far as I know, no mental illness. I continually struggle with the guilt of being a good person, am I a good person? I think my main thing is remembering that I cannot please everyone! So I exist to be a good person, not for anyone else, but for myself and for God :)

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  38. I haven't really thought of a mission statement exactly, but of living with intention.

    What is the unique purpose that God has given me to do? I'm discovering that daily and through listening to God, I'm discovering what He wants me to do and who He has created me to be.

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  39. Hi Kate,

    I am newish to your blog and am really enjoying it.

    I just wanted to pass along that I too struggled with infertility. For 7 years my husband and I tried every which way to get pregnant. On April 24, 2000 our beautiful daughter Meghan was born. The second they laid her in my arms I knew that every minute of that 7 years was suppose to happen, it was our path to get to her. So don't give up, the baby you are suppose to have will come to you when the time is right and in whatever way God has planned. Whenever, however that happens your baby will be blessed to have you for a mom. Karen

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  40. I love this, Kate, and love using my blog as a place to share the Good News! Your influence stretches SO far and I love that you're using it to grow the kingdom.

    We went on a family retreat last weekend, and this why I couldn't attend Blissdom this year. So I sold my Blissdom ticket and went on this retreat. And one of our activities was to write a family mission statement. I'm trying to find the words to share everything I picked up that weekend on my blog, but I don't know if I'll do it justice.

    Thank you for sharing your heart here!

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  41. Thank you for sharing this! I love that this blog is so much more than fashion and hair-dos. ( :

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  42. I love it SO MUCH that you talk about your faith in your blog. I love it that this isn't a "Christian blog" (so one dimensional) but that this is a blog about hair and your life, and so naturally, you talk about your faith as part of your life. I love that!

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  43. Kate, this is so thoughtful and beautiful, and I strive to live with intention each day as well--it can be difficult at times! It's so wonderful to hear from others that also look for a regular study of the scriptures as a guidance. I am the worst at reading blogs (since I contribute daily to mine) but I didn't realize about your infertility, and I agree, it is so important to live for the now as hard as that may be sometimes. Hugs to you, friend!

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  44. LOVE! Thank you for giving me something to think about!

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  45. thank you Kate! I knew you were a Christian but I had not heard you speak about Christ in your post until now. Glory be to God!

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  46. Kate! I have been reading your blog for a little over a year now! I love it! One of my friends showed it to me and it was exactly what i needed to balance all the infertility blogs i was consuming.

    Today was especialy encouraging as i needed to be reminded that through all struggles in life we need to "exist to make the works of God evident in our lives and show His Love!" I need to be more real with people about my struggles so they can help and see God heal and bring me out of them.

    Please be encouraged that your bravery of being real on here has impacted my life. All the way in Alberta, Canada :)
    Kristine

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  48. Hi Kate - thanks so much for continuing to bring a voice of authenticity to your blog, and for daring to be honest and transparent with your readers. While I may not share your faith, I have the utmost respect for your willingness to share it with us, as it's clearly a very important part of who you are. Plus, I absolutely share your convictions about the importance of living a life with a bigger purpose. It's an idea that is both empowering, and rewarding. :)

    Em | emmakesherown.wordpress.com

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  49. Thanks Kate for posting this. I love that you share your faith on your blog. What a testimony. And thanks for sharing the amazing John Piper's vision statement. Love it!

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  50. Aloha Kate,
    Thank you so much for this post. I have been contemplating this very question over the past year. Your statement starting with "I exist..." struck a chord for me. Thank you for this inspiration. Please know that the fact that you include your faith in this blog adds a quality strand, and a much enjoyed one at that, that I find missing in many others. Mahalo.

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  51. Thank you Kate for being so transparent and honest with the truth of what drives you. I have been following your blog for a while now because I love your style and hair tutorials. But this post was by far, the most impacting. Jesus is my strenth, my friend and my savior and so I will say "I exist to let Jesus shine through me". Now to remember that while I wrangle my 4 little boys! Good luck and many blessings to you this year. And Happy Easter!

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  52. Thank you for this post! This couldn't have come at a better time, thank you for sharing!

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  53. May God continue to use you and pour out His blessings upon you!

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  54. In tears. Thank you for the reminder of his unchanging love. I forget, sometimes. I forget, often.

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  55. What a great post! I made a personal mission statement in seminary for a class, but ... I think it may need to be re-looked at. Thanks for sharing yours!

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  56. Hi Kate, I've been reading and loving your blog for about a year now. I too have been thinking along these lines quite a bit lately, and in fact my small group from church is planning to do a study called Chazown (http://www.chazown.com/) that is based on a book written by our pastor, Craig Groeschel(Lifechurch.tv). I've heard great things about how this study helps you realize how your experiences, gifts, and passions fit in to God's vision for your future. You should check it out if you're interested (I believe the study is free online). I love something that Craig always says: "all people get somewhere in life, but few get there on purpose". Props to you for already having a mission statement!

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  57. So happy to have you share this! It's a big leap of faith to share your personal faith story!

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  58. Thank so much for sharing so much with so many Kate !

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  59. Definitely makes you think. I don`t quite have an answer to this. I suppose right now my mission is simply to find what makes me happy.

    Some Snapshots Blog
    Jess

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  60. Beautifully written, Kate! It is amazing what a mission statement can do in your life... I am a nursing student and about to graduate, and I have a mission statement for my practice: "My mission is to encourage, embrace, and renew joy and healing for children and their families". My dream is to work as a pediatric nurse, and I am on my way to realizing it by having my final capstone practicum in the local children's hospital.

    When I wrote this mission statement, it was to fulfill an assignment. I gave it a lot of thought so that I wouldn't want to change it after a few months, and I am amazed at how quickly it became not just an assignment, but a part of who I am. My mission statement for my nursing career helps me focus on what is important moment to moment. I also have found that my understanding of each aspect of my mission statement ("encourage," "embrace," "joy," etc) has grown as I've cared for a variety of patients, spent time learning about health care in Central Asia, and also as I've grown in my faith in Jesus.

    Many blessings to you as your mission statement roots itself in your soul and helps to guide you, through Christ, in your walk with Him! <3 Andrea J

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  61. Oh Kate! I'm so thrilled about your post! My mission is to let everyone know that God will answer your prayers.In telling people this truth combined with my own story of healing, I'm hoping to plant that tiny seed that grows as one turns toward God more and more each day through prayer.
    Many blessings for you! a reader

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  62. I loved this post - thank you for opening your heart and sharing it! What a beautiful way to think about focusing our lives. Thank you! I'll be writing an "I exist to..." statement tonight :)

    Landon @ Living the Dream

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  63. Thank you for sharing this! Wise words.... And an encouraging challenge to work on.

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  64. I heard John Piper speak in Dallas at the Village Church. He was so amazing! I felt like I wanted to write down everything he said. I really need a mission statement like this. I love yours! And you have such a great platform to share with!

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  65. Love this post! I too struggled with infertility...I am guessing I was around your age when we first realized that we would have a problem getting pregnant. I am 36 now (crazy!) and have the most amazing son who we adopted 7 years ago. (Adoption hasn't been any easier. We have waited almost 7 years for a second child so far!) Even with all the struggles and sadness, I wouldn't have it any other way. God has used my infertility in so many ways. He is using you right now with your blog to be a blessing to so many! Praying for you that you will find your purpose now while you wait.

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  66. Don't forget that a wonderfully perfect reason to exist is to help other women figure out how to style their hair easily! This is your talent...and believe me, you are talented! After years of wearing my hair up in a clippie or ponytail, I have begun to try the styles you teach! I haven't perfected them, but some I have pulled off to my amazement and to the amazement of others as they comment about my hair being done! Your existence makes the world a better place for others... and that is God working through you and the talent He gave you!!!

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  67. Kate, Your blog inspires me and this post just said it all! I am starting out blogging and your blog posts really helped me! Thank you! http://abeautifiedblog.blogspot.com/

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  68. Wow - I just stumbled upon your blog via pinterest and I LOVE this post. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Thanks for sharing....its making me think about a mission statement for me! I'll be back! :-)
    -Katie

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  69. I truly enjoy your blog and I love this post. Thank you for also sharing your challenges with infertility; that takes a lot of courage AND gives courage to others who may be suffering alone (or feeling like they are alone.)

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  70. What a beautiful post. I love your conscious decision to begin your statement with "I exist..." I need to write my open statement. What a glorious idea.

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  71. This is an awesome thing to spend time thinking about... I think my intention is to live a simple, quiet, cozy life filled with kindness. I'd like my purpose to be to foster/rescue animals and teach others to do the same. :)

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  72. Thank you do much for this post. Just what I needed to read. God bless!!

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